GLADIATHER WIVES: MIA KENNEDY WALLACE
I bet you thought I forgot about this month’s GladiatHer® Wives feature, didn’t you?! Oh, ye of little faith, you’re totally wrong. It’s with great please that I bring you February’s Gladiather® Wife, Mrs. Mia Kennedy Wallace. I don’t want to spoil the interview, so I’ll just say that Mia truly epitomizes what the feature is all about. She has passions and aspirations outside of her role as a sports wife, but is simultaneously dedicated to her family and being the best wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend that she can be. Check her out!
Hi Mia! We really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us. Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
Absolutely. I’m Mia! I grew up in Charlotte, NC with an older brother and sister and family dogs. I am married to Al Wallace. He’s a former defensive end who had a long, ten-year career in the NFL. He a played for the Eagles, Bears and Panthers and was a member of the Panther’s 2003 NFC Champion and Super Bowl team! Al and I have one baby together, a happy almost 2-year-old named Maci. I also have two older step-daughters who are 15 and 10.
You’re a Southern gal like me…Nice! So what do you do professionally?
Well my parents are both entrepreneurs and instilled the value of education and hard work from the time my brother, sister and I were young. I’ve actually worked for my parents in one capacity or another since I was sixteen years old. The values they taught us inspired me to attend Howard University where in 2006, I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. Currently, I am a consultant to the Directors of my family’s three childcare centers. My position allows me the flexibility to raise my daughter at home. Being a stay at home mom is the best job I could ever have!
The experience of seeing both of your parents be successful entrepreneurs must be amazing. So we know where you got your business sense from, but what about sports? Do you have a connection to sports outside of your husband?
I sure do! I’ve actually been playing sports all of my life. I started out in dance, gymnastics and cheerleading at a young age. In addition to working with my family’s childcare centers, I actually continue to stay active by teaching all three. In high school (I went to West Charlotte High School), I was a varsity cheerleader, I played varsity soccer and I was a member of the swim team. And at Howard, I lettered as a varsity cheerleader. I have also started doing yoga, and I love it. Yoga has been a great source of calm for me mentally and my body has gotten so strong from practicing yoga every week.
Um, wow. You’re the epitome of a GladiatHer®! I love it! So how would you say sports has impacted your life and why is it important for girls and women to be involved in sports?
I have literary never, not been a part of a sports team so my opinion of the impact of sports may be biased. But I believe that being part of something larger than me, like a sports team, has made me an empathetic, observant and patient person. Sports have taught me that disciple and hard work are invaluable and with those things I can accomplish things I never thought possible.
The very first thing I think about when dealing with girls and their participation in sports is body image. I believe that a girl at any age would benefit from a positive body image. In my opinion, participation in sports shows girls that their bodies are amazing and capable of so many things. A girl who realizes that her body is strong and beautiful will be confident in other areas of her life.
Yes!! One of our favorite hashtags is #StrongIsBeautiful, so we agree wholeheartedly. I think it’s clear that you’re passionate about getting our girls involved in sports. What else are you passionate about and where do you see that passion taking you in the next five to ten years?
I’m passionate about raising my little girl to be a strong, kind and well-rounded person. I’m also passionate about expressing myself creatively. In line with those things, in the next five to ten years I would hope to add a few more babies to our family! It has always been my dream to raise my children at home, the way my mother did me and her mother and grandmother did her. I’d also like to start a business of my own in order to fuel my creative side.
As I develop in my family and career I hope to be a role model for young girls and women by living a life that anyone could be proud of. If my lifestyle breaks down some negative stereotype, then I’d be happy about it. I really hope to shine a light on the most simple virtue, kindness. I try my best to treat others with respect and kindness and I believe the more people act out of kindness, the better off we’d all be.
I completely agree. A little kindness goes such a long way. So now one of our favorite questions, who’s your favorite GladiatHer®?
My favorite athlete at the moment is Misty Copeland. I love how strong her body is! She’s a beautiful dancer who is proving to people that dance is an activity, a sport, an art, and a form of self-expression…all at the same time. Dance is such a complex, diverse skill. Unfortunately, ballet has traditionally been thought of an easy, girly “hobby” and as something that only Caucasian girls and women did. Misty is absolutely changing the perception of dance and what it means/looks like to be a ballerina. She is such a great role model for young black girls and girls in general.
Mia, thanks again for your time and your willingness to share with us. We can’t wait to see where your creative mind and passion for sports takes you. Before you go, please let our readers know where they can find you on social media.